Korean J Intern Med.  2023 Sep;38(5):583-594. 10.3904/kjim.2023.035.

Low-dose non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation

  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea
  • 2Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea


In the last decade, non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs), a new generation of OACs, were introduced to prevent thromboembolism in patients with atrial fibrillation. Although vitamin K-dependent anticoagulants have long been used as OACs, their inherent disadvantage of considerable bleeding complications has limited their use. NOACs demonstrate similar or superior clinical outcomes to those of warfarin. Although strict dose reduction criteria are recommended for NOACs, low-dose NOACs are frequently utilized, especially in Asian patients. Low-dose NOACs have shown clinical outcomes similar to those of warfarin in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and real-world studies. However, off-label low-dose NOACs have shown inconsistent results compared with standard-dose NOACs and warfarin. Therefore, strict dose reduction criteria for NOACs should be followed until RCTs confirm the issues associated with NOAC underdosing.


Off-label use; Anticoagulant agents; Atrial fibrillation
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